By Terence Kek

They danced into the night.

It was also Harun’s last participation in a Discover Singapore event. “Discover Singapore is very good,” he says. “It helps to take away the pain, worry and unhappy thoughts”. Harun will be going home the week after, his injury compensation case finally resolved after a ridiculously long wait of two years and three months.

Discover Singapore takes injured and out-of-work workers out (generally twice a month) on excursions, to relieve the boredom of long waits for case resolution.

Sunday, 23 November 2013 saw a huge group at the Esplanade Theatres, which was holding its Kalaa Utsavam Indian Festival of Arts from 15 – 24 November. With Bollywood Nite on the 23rd, that’s the night we chose for our men.

On arrival (bus sponsored by Esplanade) , the group was welcomed by Koh Sian Eng, the Manager of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs of the theatre complex, to start a very full programme, with several parts to the evening.

The first was a song performance at the concourse (pic above), but we never quite caught the name of the group. It was a different one from that listed in the programme. We then moved outdoors — it was perfect weather — to the arena where the Bangalore band Agam was performing. Theirs was fusion-rock, described in the brochure as “combining the hues of melodic scales and rhythm structures of carnatic music with the principles and aesthetics of western music.” The borchure continues: “Agam is considered pioneers of carnatic progressive rock genre. Much of their songwriting is directly inspired by carnatic classical music, and the essence of their sound lies in how they bring in rock and metal elements into an Indian melody line.”


Dinner was sponsored by Thondamans Catering Service Pte.Ltd at Norris Road. There was also a tea break, which was sponsored by Simply Peranakan Restaurant. It came with coffee, tea and nyonya kueh cakes. It turned out that one of the men had a birthday, and so a three-tier cake was creatively improvised by volunteer Irene and her sister, built from chocolate-banana cupcakes. The cupcakes were sponsored and baked by Irene’s friend, Viola Goh.

white_10x40esplanade_bollywood_6We had a Best-dressed competition, with two winners that evening. Each of them were given a zoo ticket. One of the winners was Harun; he is the one dressed in suit and tie. When he received the zoo ticket, he gave it back, explaining that since he was leaving Singapore soon, it shouldn’t go to waste. In the end we gave his zoo ticket to the third place winner.

The last programme (after 10 pm) was held at the Concourse, where we were entertained by a DJ playing the hottest Indian hits. Open to public like all the earlier events, Singaporeans, expats and our workers could help but move to the beat.

This was Discover Singapore’s 13th expedition. And yet another successful one.